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Internet Safety

The internet is a wonderful resource and has so much to offer however there are dangers - I have tried to put together some info and links to free software and websites that may be helpful in keeping you and your computer safe.

I make no recommendations for particular software, you should check it is compatible and only download from a reputable source. Best practice is to always run an anti-virus scan on any downloads before opening them.


The National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ) have produced a PDF download "Cyber Security Small Charity Guide" with tips on how to stay safe - you can download it from our archive here


Device Protection

First lets deal with your computer / tablet / smartphone - anti-virus software is a must, without up to date anti-virus software your machine is vulnerable to viruses and malware - A firewall is also a must - Windows and Mac OSX have built in firewalls - make sure these are on if you are not using another firewall. Check that auto updates are enabled or at least check for updates for the operating system regularly. Turning PC's off when not in use saves energy and stops remote access. For mobile devices there are a number of apps available to help protect and 'clean' your device, before downloading I would always do a search to see what other users had to say about them, some are more useful and safer than others. One other point - attaching a USB stick or SD card or similar without virus checking them is also risky, far better to upload files via an online (cloud) storage system



Comodo firewall

GlassWire firewall

ZoneAlarm firewall



Windows has a free anti-virus there are free anti-virus software packages available -

Microsoft's Security Essentials antivirus is free to users of "genuine Windows machines" (it will verify your license) -

AVG - free basic version of their anti virus software

Avast antivirus for Windows, Mac and Android

Avira antivirus

Bitdefender antivirus

BullGuard antivirus

Kaspersky antivirus

Sophos Home for PCs and Macs


Privacy Protection

As well as anti-virus you should also consider additional protection - many UK banks offer Trusteer Rapport free software to help protect against financial malware (Malware and phishing can allow cyber criminals to access your device, and get hold of your account numbers, passwords and personal information)

Suggestions - have more than one email account - use one for personal i.e. family & friends, another for online shopping and maybe another for 'others' like entering competitions, ordering broachers, requesting info from a website. - Online shopping is very popular and can save you money but if you are buying from a company / website for the first time you may be giving them your email address, home address and perhaps credit / debit card details - it is simple for fraudsters to set up an online shopping site - consider using the likes of PayPal and again I would urge a separate email address for this


Computer Cleaner

CCleaner allows a user to remove clutter from the hard drive and files, which can deliver performance improvements. (for windows) download from


Internet Safety Help & Reporting sites

If you are concerned about online abuse, bullying, grooming or fraud the following sites may be able to offer help or information

Action Fraud
If you have been ‘scammed, ripped off or conned’ you can report to Action Fraud, or on 0300 1232040. It is a 24/7 service This service is run by the National Fraud Authority - Twitter @actionfrauduk

BBC Webwise is the BBC's beginner's guide to the internet.

CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency Safety Centre - gives advice, help and acts as a report centre... if someone has acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person – report it - also on Twitter @CEOPUK

ChildLine - You can phone on 0800 1111 - you can speak to someone in private and the number will not show up on your phone bill. - Twitter @childline

Childnet International is the children's internet charity committed to helping to make the internet a great and safe place for children. - Twitter @childnet

Cyber Aware - information about staying safe online.

FFA UK Financial Fraud Action UK - fraud prevention advice

Get Safe Online - the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety is able to provide information for parents and children regarding a number of issues including Cyberbullying, Sexting, Online Grooming and more. Their guides contain a number of ways to approach the subject of Internet Safety.

NSPCC Net aware Your guide to the social networks your kids use

Parents Protect! Help Parents and Carers Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

PAPYRUS is a UK charity committed to young suicide prevention, including the closing down of websites that encourage suicide.

Report-it / True Vision - A service for reporting all hate crimes online, owned by the The National Police Chiefs' Council

UK Safer Internet Centre, where you can find e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet. Twitter @UK_SIC


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